Monday, January 25, 2010

Watching Clay Dry



Working in clay can take so LONG! Wedge, make, apply three coats of this, dry, wait, fire, glaze, wait, fire and wait some more and hope the pieces haven’t exploded in the kiln because you haven’t waited long enough for drying or didn’t wedge the clay long enough –holy cow! The amount of time put into one piece can require a lot of dedication and PATIENCE. Working again with clay I’m quickly reminded to toss any need for instant gratification and quick completion of a piece out the window.

For successful clay projects there can be so many steps that all take attention and time. I’m feeling that prices for pottery are greatly undervalued. I’m reading through my favorite clay artist’s Blogs and am starting to better understand why so many potters work in volume production, stick to one type of clay body, limited palettes of glaze recipes and firing styles. It seems in working this way there can be a higher rate of success and a larger body of work in which to sell and make a living.

My main clay rack is now full of Tile White ^05 drying greenware. I’ll need to remind myself to be PATIENT and let the sgraffito trays dry before I fire them for the first time. Patience isn’t exactly my middle name, but I’m doing my best. It’s just that I’m so excited to see how some of these color underglazes are going to turn out and I’m even more excited to glaze the bisqued trays with some new matte and satin clear glaze I bought and see how they turn out. So see, I’m already IMPATIENT for two whole steps ahead!

For my latest sgraffito work I experimented with using some Duncan E-Z Strokes underglazes I had bought off Cr@igs List last year. I really liked how the Black and Midnight Blue flowed from my brush onto the greenware and loved carving the softened greenware. I’m worried that the first Amaco Black underglaze I used on the Raven sgraffito pieces isn’t going to be intense enough. I did paint the recommended three coats, PATIENTLY waited in between coats, so we'll see.

I’m hoping I can fire up the kiln loaded with sgraffito trays in a couple of days. The good news is that right now the Alaska winter air is really, really dry –tough on my skin but GREAT for my trays!


9 comments:

Christine--RHP said...

oh yeah--you said it--
(no wonder I've made gazillions of pieces in the same glazes over the years....hehehe--)
I admire you for trodding on!! These are looking good!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh MAN what pretty work!

cindy shake said...

I know you were working to perfect your lovely blue-green glaze Christine and it paid off!! Your little birds are just lovely too :o)

Aw, thank you Gary!! xox

Judy Shreve said...

Cindy -- I need to print out this blog entry!! Yikes I have no patience -- now why do I work in clay? And I love how you've described the process of waiting . . .

Your tiles are looking fabulous -- and if the ravens aren't black enough you can add more glaze & re-fire at low temps.

Cowgirl Goods said...

You are amazing............really amazing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful art with us.

cookingwithgas said...

I once had someone order a set of Mugs on saturday and call me on Tuesday to see if they were ready to pick up!
There is nothing quick about clay.
But! your tiles look great!
Can I pick them up on Tuesday!??

ang said...

heheheh glad you're taking this diversion, your work it amazing so much going on and yet really balanced....!!! SPLENDID!!!!! and please wait for them to dry before firing, otherwise.... you know,.... boooom!!!

Peter said...

Love the sgraffito work, it crosses over nicely between print making (wood cuts, lino, and so on), and the clay work. It will be very exciting to see how they look fired.

Linda Starr said...

Those look great, can't wait to see how they turn out. Here's a link for an article about crows I thought you might find interesting. I know your's are raven's but the info probably applies to them too.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18429-if-you-think-a-crow-is-giving-you-the-evil-eye.html